Case study: Development and evaluation methods for bio-based construction realized with paper-based building materials
This paper presents a preliminary case study of a cladded skeletal structure built primarily with paper materials. The methods used regard construction detailing, finite element model analysis (FEM), material testing and ecological evaluation. The material behavior in relation with the application in construction is discussed. Existing studies are referenced to present a holistic view of the current status of the research. To explain how paper products can be used as construction materials, the pros and cons of the anisotropy of paper as a base material in combination with the manufacture processes used to form multi-layered components are addressed. The differences between current industrial and construction applications and testing methods are highlighted with the aim to target the steps required to create standardized processes for using paper products as construction materials. Within this context the current construction is analyzed and the assembly method, together with the custom made design of the multi-axial connections, is presented. The material testing includes compression tests performed with paper-tubes, honeycomb- and corrugated boards and a 4-point bending test performed only with paper-tubes. The material testing of boards is executed to examine their potential as load bearing elements and to evaluate the testing conditions. FEM analysis focuses on the skeletal structure whereas the wall panels are not considered as stiffening elements. The global structural analysis resulted in a diagram of principle stresses. The local FEM analysis is focused on the corner area where peak stresses occur. The comparison between calculations and material testing showed that the structural capacity of the paper-tubes is sufficient while the joints need to be reinforced. The ecological evaluation based on the method of life cycle assessment (LCA) indicates that the demonstrator fulfils the main requirements for circular design. All in all paper materials present great potential for application in construction.